Tehran: U.S. Safe Zones in Syria a Pipe Dream
A lawmaker said the US and some regional countries seek to implement a plan to establish "safe zones" in Syria, but it will "definitely get them nowhere". Mohammad Ebrahim Rezaei, a member of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, told ICANA on Saturday, "This scheme will not come to fruition since those in charge of Syria have great awareness and do not let supporters of terrorists interfere in their affairs."
US President Donald Trump is ordering the Pentagon to establish a series of "safe zones" in Syria, which idea is predictably backed by Saudis and the UAE. "Western countries and Arab states have mobilized massive support for terrorists in Syria and now they are trying to conceal their poor track record," Rezaei said.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has rejected his American counterpart's plan to create "safe zones" in Syria allegedly to protect refugees fleeing violence in the country. "It's not a realistic idea at all. This is where you can have natural safe zones, which is our country. They don't need safe zones at all," he said in an interview with Yahoo News in February.
The Iranian lawmaker noted that supporters of terrorists, which could not achieve their objectives by providing military, arms and financial assistance to takfiri groups, are now willing to link themselves with Syria's peace talks to regain their lost status.
"Trump's vision of setting up free zones is in fact a face-saving move and the presence of hundreds of American troops will not have any considerable impact on the situation in the war-torn country," he said.
Referring to the upcoming high-level international meeting on Syria in Kazakhstan's capital Astana, Rezaei described it as an efficient platform.
The first round of the Astana talks convened by Iran, Russia and Turkey on January 23-24 and included representatives from the Damascus government and opposition groups. The second round, similarly mediated by the three regional countries, was held on February 15-16.
The main outcome of these meetings was an agreement on rules for a joint mechanism to monitor the ongoing ceasefire in Syria so as to pave the way for the parties to discuss the political agenda within the framework of the UN-brokered Geneva process and in accordance with the 2015 UN Security Council Resolution 2254 on a roadmap to Syria settlement.
In parallel with the Astana process, the UN is mediating separate peace talks between the Syrian government and opposition in the Swiss city, a new round of which is scheduled to be held later this month. The next Astana meeting will be held on March 14-15. High-ranking delegations from Russia, Turkey and Iran will attend the meeting, according to Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry.